Two Commonwealth island nations, occupying opposite hemispheres, will be united on Friday June 8th 2012 when both celebrate public, but rather different, holidays.
While the Isle of Man marks the conclusion of the TT festival with the Senior Race Day bank holiday Norfolk Island will be celebrating Bounty Day, the self-governing territory of Australia’s national day, celebrated every June 8th in memory of the arrival of the Pitcairn Islanders in 1856.
In the Isle of Man Tynwald has arranged to fly the Norfolk Island flag on June 8th at the TT Grandstand, preparations for which attracted support from TT superstar John McGuinness and Department of Economic Development political member for tourism Geoff Corkish MHK, while that same day in the South Pacific the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly will be flying the Manx flag, alongside those of the United Kingdom, Tahiti and Pitcairn Islands, from its seat at the Old Military Barracks in Kingston.
President of Tynwald the Hon Clare Christian MLC, said: ‘June 8th provides a rare opportunity to bring together in spirit two members of the Commonwealth which, although separated geographically by many thousands of miles, share a commitment to preserving their respective unique heritage and maintaining their cultural links. The latter were strengthened in 2011 when on July 5th, Tynwald Day, my predecessor Mr Noel Cringle OBE, welcomed the Speaker of the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly the Hon Robin Adams to our national day celebrations and a cultural agreement between our two nations was signed.’
Speaker of the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly the Hon Robin Adams JP MLA said: ‘On June 8th each year Norfolk Island celebrates the anniversary of the arrival here in 1856 of 194 men, women and children from Pitcairn Island – the descendants of the Bounty mutineers and the Tahitian men and women who lived with them on Pitcairn Island. On July 5th 2011 the Isle of Man and Norfolk Island signed a cultural agreement in which we acknowledge the historical links between us; links that were forged because of Fletcher Christian’s and William Bligh’s association with the Isle of Man, an association that led to the descendants of mutineers Christian, Adams, McCoy, Quintal and Young living on Norfolk Island today. On June 8th this year the Manx flag will fly above those gathered for the Bounty Day parade. It is exciting news that Norfolk Island’s flag will fly equally prominently in the Isle of Man in acknowledgement of Norfolk’s National Day.’
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